Customer Reviews for

The Iron Witch (Iron Witch Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Different series but very good

Cant wait for next book!

posted by 9734559 on February 8, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Great concept, but flat story (from The Tealeaf Review)

I really thought I would love this one. From the gorgeous covers, to hot faery boys, to alchemy, I thought this would be the book for me. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it by any means, but I didn't necessarily enjoy it either. It was just.incredibly average. Really,...
I really thought I would love this one. From the gorgeous covers, to hot faery boys, to alchemy, I thought this would be the book for me. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it by any means, but I didn't necessarily enjoy it either. It was just.incredibly average. Really, I think my main problem with The Iron Witch was that it was too short. It felt underdeveloped. And as much as I've been lamenting the fact that everything is a series now, I was actually glad to hear that there would be more. The world is very interesting, and I'd definitely like a more in-depth look into it all. I loved the use of alchemy - probably my favorite feature of the entire book. While it's made it appearances in other books, it's still not commonly used, and I absolutely love the subject. The little tidbits scattered throughout were really intriguing, and it actually had to googling things to see what all the instruments Donna mentions actually were and what they looked like. I only wish we had seen more of it - but I'm hoping it will be a little more prevalent in later books. I also found the Faerie realm fantastic too. The queen? Creeeepy. The wood elves were very twisted and dark, and not to mention the Skriker. The scene at the end with the Skriker, though short, was pretty B.A. But again, I just felt like we didn't see enough of it. There's no scope on the Faerie. But if I'm being perfectly honest, the reason I didn't like the book so much was actually the main character, Miss Donna Underwood. I just.couldn't like her. Her voice wasn't particularly irritating or anything, but she just felt so blank. I mean, her arms are covered in iron/silver tattoos, she has super strength, her father died defending her, her mother's crazy, and she's been taken out of school for "the Incident". I was expecting feisty, angry, and maybe a little bent on vengeance. I mean, I'd want to learn everything I could about battling the dark fey that tore my family apart and almost killed me, wouldn't you? But no, she mopes and whines about not having a normal life, and only occasionally visits her mentally addled mom. The only spark we get from her is when confronted the high school queen bee, and at the very end. And while Xan, her main love interest, is definitely a swoon-worthy half-faerie with a dark past the scars to prove it, I didn't really understand their draw. Donna is an alchemists, and alchemists do not like anything from Faerie is how I took it. Yet she just instantly trusts this boy above her own people, and says nothing to her superiors, or even her remaining family member. While I can see that there is maybe something a little shady going on with the alchemists, I didn't understand her choice to not tell them anything when she finds out that (spoiler here!) the wood elves have been snatching people and taking their places all over town. Even taking the place of their best inventor! This means powerful wood elf magic - something the alchemists definitely should know about. And seriously, can we give Donna the worst friend award? Navin (who is so obviously in love with her it's ridiculous) is kidnapped by the elves, and on their way to go rescue him, she can't stop daydreaming about Xan. Her best friend for most of her entire life has been kidnapped by nasty elves, held hostage, and may be undergoing unspeakable torture. But she's daydreaming about kissing Xan, and has to snap herself back into concentrating on the emergency at hand.

posted by LizTea on April 12, 2011

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    I totally love magical stories. You know the ones where you are fighting fairies, running through a forest and searching for your prince charming? I loved this book. I loved the storyline. If anything, it made me feel like I was child again, reading such a magical story that it comes to life right before my eyes.

    One thing I enjoyed about this book was the storyline. It was filled with lots of heart breaking pasts, a frightful future, and a friendship worth fighting for. The plot not only took you in, but continued to build up so much so that it left you flipping the pages faster and faster. I also adored the great paranormal twist to the book. It has alchemist in it. It not seen very much in books, but I am glad that in this book it s described well.

    The characters, I enjoyed reading. Donna and Navin had a great friendship. I love that their friendship was real. They had something that was built over time and not even elves can ruin that. The love interest I adored. I like that Zan was there for Donna and help her through everything. It was delight to see such a fresh love grow before your eyes.

    The Iron Witch was an delightful read. Filled with non-stop action of the fey, alchemy and a great fights, this is one book that kept me entertain. I look forward to reading the next book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Love! This book is very different from my usual Morganville Vam


    This book is very different from my usual Morganville Vampires and Immortals books. I felt like I could connect with the main character, Donna Underwood, because the author so vividly described her pain and suffering and love for Xan.

    In addition to being able to connect with the characters, I really enjoyed having something other than vampires and more vampires (it seems the topic of blood-sucking creatures is dominating our books these days) such as the more complex and sophisticated workings of the Alchemists. Overall, I completely fell in love with this book series and can't wait to read the next one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Is it just me?

    Is it just me or does this sound basically almost exactly like the Iron Fey series by Julie Kawaga?
    Iron Fey: Her father goes missing at age 6
    Iron Witch: Her father dies at age 7
    Iron Fey: Her brother gets kidnapped
    Iron Witch: Her best friend gets Kidnapped
    It's like the same plot

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Enjoyable Read

    As of lately Flux has been publishing some majorly amazing novels. And Karen Mahoney's The Iron Witch- how was that you may ask? Well, it has continued the trend thankfully enough, because not only is The Iron Witch rocking a fabulous premise, but the the execution, writing, and characters backing it up are nothing short of fantastic.

    The Iron Witch tells the story of Donna Underwood, a girl who has always been a bit different from the average teen. For one, ever since the horrible accident that took her father's life and her mother's mind, Donna has had iron tattoos branding her hands and arms to cover the fatal injuries she faced as well, worse yet these seem to label her as a freak, as not only did she get kicked out of her school after a particularly fatal fight, but she only has one true friend- Navin- who loves her no matter what. Though, ever thing changes the day Xan walks into their lives. Adorable and sweet, Donna instantly feels connected to this boy, but is there more to him then meets the eye? Is he more supernatural than she thinks? Better yet, when Navin gets captured by a bunch of evil fey, will Donna and Xan be able to save him in time? Only time will tell in this richly told story of the fey and the alchemy and the war that has left both impaired.

    There were so many things about The Iron Witch that I absolutely loved! For one, the characters! Donna is the typical strong-willed protagonist with a lot of heart and compassion for her friends and family, though what I liked most about her character was see how she dealt with the fight within herself to become more than just the "freak" she has been labeled as. More importantly, I loved the friendships and relationships she began to make in this. Navin is an the all around good guy, one I would love to have as a best friend, and Xan, gorgeous and sweet, was pretty swoon worthy himself. Best of all, all the characters felt thoroughly fleshed out, while still having plenty of room for Karen to develop them as the series continues.

    I also really enjoyed learning more about the fey and the alchemy and what ties and tears them apart, especially when it played an important part in making this book full of twists and turns that will leave any reader guessing what exactly is going to happen next. The only thing I didn't particularly like was the way I kind of felt The Iron Witch has a lot more world development needed, but I guess that's what sequels are for, right?
    Anyhow, full of supernatural fun, skilled writing, and strong-willed characters, The Iron Witch is sure to enchant and leave many teens and adults clamoring for more- especially ones who enjoy Julia Kagawa's The Iron Fey series.

    Grade: A-

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A New View on an ancient tale.

    Karen Mahoney brings is into the world of the Fey and of the alchemist in her 2011 debut novel, The Iron Witch. Mahoney is a great world building taking us through her character Donna Underwood, and the experiences and experimentations that happened to her while she was young. The accompanying man candy of a mortal and a half fey make for a great part of the story, and I love all of the characters dialog and interactions with each other.
    With an influx of books in the YA genre I loved this retelling of a classic tale of the "Armless Maiden" myth and how Mahoney wove the present day into the story so well.
    With the amazing qualities of this debut I cannot wait to read the next book in her series.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an enjoyable debut novel

    I can honestly say that I very much enjoyed reading The Iron Witch. I don't read a lot of Young Adult, but the same applies to Young Adult (for me anyway) as Adult fiction. It has to hold my interest. Normally I look for books that jump into action from the first page, and I prefer lots of action - whether it's fighting, running or laughing situations...Sometimes I get that but then a book slows down for me, and then comes to a complete stop interest-wise. The Iron Witch did start out with a bang - the prologue describes some of the nightmarish night that Donna went through as a child. The first chapter has her waking up from her nightmare. And even though there wasn't the feeling of non-stop adventure, there were things that kept me interested throughout the book.

    After the opening prologue/nightmare scene, the book continues at a seemingly sedate pace, but really little things are happening - some creepy things - that point towards the danger to come. Donna is attending a party with her best friend, Navin. They've been best friends for a long time, and live right next door to each other. Navin is the one person that Donna feels comfortable with, and even with him she feels like she doesn't quite fit in. Both of them have lost a parent. Donna has freakish strength in her arms - something that she is always aware of, which therefore causes a bit of angst. On top of that, she has these markings on her arms...making her feel like she has to keep them hidden. As a teen, she most likely dreads having anything pointed out as different, and here are two things that mark her as way different - her markings that she keeps hidden by wearing gloves and her freakish strength which she just tries to keep hidden....except for ---- no, that would be a spoiler. haha

    She goes to a party with Navin, against her instinct to remain in the background at all times. But once there, she ends up looking for a quiet place to hang out, and ends up on the roof with this mysterious boy/man. This guy turns out to be Xan, or Alexander - a kid who had gone off to college and then ended up back at home after a short while. Turns out he has his own reasons to feel like he doesn't quite belong. Xan plays an important part in the story - Donna and Xan strike up an uneasy (at first) yet strong friendship/attraction. They both feel different from others, and both have things to hide...and other than Navin's friendship, the only experience Donna has with other boys are...well probably none.

    Donna Underwood's family and circle have secrets, so Donna has learned all her life to keep things secret, this is wearing on her. She's also feeling bad about having to keep secrets from her best friend. Donna lives with her aunt, since her mother is in a confused state of conciousness in a hospital and her father died while saving her from the thing in the forest. Donna is homeschooled ever since an incident at the high school involving teasing students and her strength. She has normal homeschooling along with some alchemy classes with people in the circle. That's one of the secrets Donna has to maintain. Her family and family friends are a secretive order of alchemists - involving magic, experiments, knowledge of the fae, etc.

    The Iron Witch continues with the incidents here and there, that build up to a crescendo of action. Donna at one point figures out that her friend has been kidnapped by the forest elves and in typical teen fashion, tries to handle things on her own.

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    Recommended Read

    I was sucked right into the world of The Iron Witch from the very first sentence, and it only got better from there. If you're looking for an exciting adventure that mixes old legends with modern day with seamless beauty then you have to get this book. I loved it and can't wait for the sequel!

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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very good!

    Let me preface this review by saying this is the first book I read about fey, and alchemists (sorta). I read The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff, but only realized the creatures in the book were fey until after I read the book (true story, I don't know why the author never bothered to name them, it would have help!). Anyway, because of this reason I think it's safe to say I found the topic very original. Also because of this same reason, I'm not sure if the author did a good job at explaining the mythology, or I am simply not familiar with it. So that would be the reason, I did not give five stars to this book.

    What I did like, Donna Underwood. Donna is one of the best heroines in YA literature I've had the pleasure of reading. She's been through the tragedy of losing her parents, and she struggles to cope with her iron tattoos that make her different (and you just know different is never good in YA). Donna is strong, and fragile at the same time, and I think that is a fine line to draw and not all authors get it right but Mahoney did. As a reader I understood why she felt sad about her iron tattoos, and yet I was pleased to see how she never hesitates to do the right thing and rescue those she loves. Donna doesn't wait to be rescued, she does the rescuing, and I loved her for it.

    There is romance in this book of course, hints of a triangle. While the triangle was a typical best-friend, heroine and bad boy triangle, yet I felt it was done right. Each boy represents something to Donna, she is not just a girl torn between two cute boys. Navin is her best-friend, who cares for her and has nurtured her while she's been ostracized from her high school while Xan is the new beautiful boy who knows about Donna's supernatural side and understands it because he too has been through his share of supernatural tragedies. By the end of the book it feels Donna has made her choice (at least to me).

    Will I read the next book in the series? The book ends with a peek to what's to come for Donna, enough to make me want to read the next book.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Iron Witch

    Great Book!
    I can't for The Wood Queen (The Iron Witch Saga, #2). Feb. 2012

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